The back porch overlooks the creek and valley

Renting the Retreat Centre

The Monkey Valley Retreat Centre is pleased to create a rental arrangement customized to your needs, whether you are planning a private meditation retreat in nature or wish to bring a group of 30 for a yoga weekend. The remote location of the land is ideally suited to nature pursuits such as stargazing, bird watching, and winter activities such as snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.

Prices vary according to group size and whether you will be providing your own meals. Please contact us for a customized rate package.

Monkey Valley offers complete privacy


  • Winter special: log cabin rental for 1-6 people—$2,000/month or $1,250 for two weeks
  • Camping groups of 5 to 50—$20/person/day (meals excluded)
  • Summer log cabin rental for 1-6 people—$400/group/day (you do the cooking)
  • Solo camping meditation retreat—$350/week (meals included)
  • Solo camping meditation retreat—$150/week (meals excluded)
  • Solo meditation retreat with indoor accommodations—$500/week (meals included)
  • Organic meals cost $30-50/person/day.
  • Rentals provide exclusive use of the land, affording your group complete privacy.

Life in the Wild

The sun provides electricity and hot water to the main houseThe Monkey Valley Retreat Centre is truly in the wilderness. Our nearest neighbours are about 30 kilometres away.

Monkey Valley is surrounded by crown lands on all sides, affording an exceptional experience of privacy and feeling of being away from civilization. The retreat centre is off the grid, which means that no power lines or phone lines go to the property. We do all we can to maintain the wildness of this place.

The way of life at Monkey Valley is designed to minimize human impact on the earth. The retreat centre runs on solar power, with an energy-efficient, quiet backup generator for extended cloudy periods. We use as little energy as possible, and try to keep waste to a minimum. We use biodegradable products as much as possible, because the water that goes down the drain eventually finds its way to the creek.

The creek is home to beavers and minkOur water supply is from an underground spring that is bountiful year round. The water has been tested to ensure it is safe for your drinking. It is crystal-clear and delicious, straight from the tap.

The centre has a cell phone for emergency use. Your cell phone will work in the house, but we encourage you to unplug from it while you are here!

The retreat centre is a haven for steeping in the energies of nature. Time here is free from traffic, TV, radio, and newspapers. We honour and acknowledge the shamanic traditions that use mind-altering substances to shift consciousness. However, at Monkey VCanadian moose nibbles branches at the edge of the meadowalley we don’t use these methods to journey to other states of awareness and deepen into our true nature. No recreational drugs or alcohol are permitted at the retreat centre.

When you come to the retreat centre we will teach you about low-impact camping and ways of being in harmony with the land and her creatures. We also teach safety topics such as how to stay found and how to handle wild-life encounters.

Severance phase: setting out on Decision Road

Decision RoadJohn Boyer, one of our guides for the upcoming vision fast in Wyoming, taught us some aspects of the Lakota people’s vision quest ceremony. The first stage of the vision fast is called “Decision Road.” This is part of the severance or preparation phase, in which we make the decision to commit to the fast—to fasting for a vision for our people.

On June 10, 2005 I set out on the drive to Boulder, Colorado, where I would be meeting my classmates at Naropa University. I felt like I was truly on Decision Road. The sense of sacred ceremony that I had felt on the medicine walk lived in me still, and imbued my road trip with the same feeling of magic. Two nights previously I had a dream in which John had recognized my abilities and acknowledged them publicly to my people. There had been a romantic element in the dream as well, which had filled my heart with gladness. Although I forgot about the dream soon after, the sense of warm-heartedness from the dream also imbued my journey.

I left Monkey Valley at about 3 in the afternoon. As I drove east along Highway 3, I could feel my identities and attachments peeling away. I had a vision of cords dissolving—the cords that bind me to my people. It was dark when I decided to make camp at the Johnston Creek Provincial Campsite, about 45 minutes east of Osoyoos. I hadn’t made it out of BC yet, but luckily I wasn’t in a hurry. The campsite was near the highway, but there was a noisy creek between the campsite and the highway, which eliminated most of the traffic noise.

It only took me 35 minutes to set up camp in the dark, and in the rain! I was pleased. I used my car (the yellow Tracker), a picnic table, and two trees to hold up the tarp. I meditated in my car for 40 minutes, while it rained, and then tightened the tarp cords before climbing under and into my sleeping bag. I read in bed a little, and a moth came to visit, attracted by my flashlight. Then I saw a small mouse-like creature running silkenly towards me, then dart under the car. So I had a visit from mouse too! My dear friend.

I thought back over the trip so far. I’d been feeling a great deal of pleasure while I was driving, sometimes very intense. An intimate singing aliveness in my body. A short distance after Princeton I began to smell sage through the open car roof. I pulled over at the side of the road, and went to see it more closely. I gave Reiki to the sage and asked permission to take some of its leaves for sacred purposes. It smelled so good. I smelled each leaf as I picked it, and gave Reiki to each plant I picked from. As I left I picked up a piece of trash. I looked up and there were two rainbows hanging against the mountains across the highway. What a beautiful sight and gift! Then I saw that the driveway I’d parked on belonged to the Lower Similkameen Indian Band. These people had hunted and fished on the land at and around Monkey Valley. I felt that they were blessing my journey. A gift from my people! What a wonderful start to my trip. The rainbows lasted for a few minutes, and became double and triple rainbows—three or four of them as I drove along. Decision Road is the beauty way!

Fasting for a vision: naming my intentions

Unbraiding my inner child's hairAs I mentioned last time, writing a letter of intention was one of the preparation tasks in the severance phase of the vision fast. I wrote a 6-page letter and sent it to the two guides. Here I include the part where I focused on my hopes for the vision fast:

“When considering what I seek from the vision fast, my mind naturally turns to my desire for a strong, clear vision of my life’s purpose. What are my gifts? How can I best be of service? What is it I am here on this earth to do? To be? Certainly answering these questions is an ongoing, lived experience that is already underway.

“Perhaps there are harder questions that I need to bring to the vision fast. Questions like what prevents me from opening my heart to my direct experience? I long to let go of the habitual patterns of ego that keep me busy, planning, and unable to respond freely in the moment. These patterns also prevent me from being touched by what is happening in the moment. I noticed on a recent visit with my mother that I could see her vulnerability, and feel my love for her, yet my defensiveness prevented me from being fully present with her in a fresh way in the moment. I know these defenses were necessary, and served a purpose. What healing needs to occur within me to let go of them now? I want to be touched by my life and my interactions with others! I want to be open to people and to what is arising, not to act in the patterned ways of my ego. I long to be able to trust the moment. I want to know the open luminosity of my true nature. I have tastes of the incredible richness of the true nature of reality, yet so often my experience is dulled by the ego-supporting activities of my mind.

“I want to lay myself bare in the vision fast. To lay myself bare on the bare earth, and let everything that is not real be stripped away.

“I want to help the child part of me grow up in the vision fast. I have been independent and supporting myself for over twenty years, yet there is still the part of me that is hoping someone will come along and look after me. There is still the part of me that is looking for my father’s love. And maybe my mother’s too! I haven’t met my living partner yet, and this is something my heart longs for. I have a deep yearning for that, and a corresponding sadness. Somehow the two things seem interconnected—the fact that I haven’t let the little girl grow up, and the fact that I haven’t met my living partner. I understand that the vision fast is a rite of initiation that has the potential to grow me up. I state my intention to let the ritual transform me into a true adult. While honoring the gifts of the little girl. The possibility that she has gifts to offer didn’t occur to me until now.”

Reading this now, I smile at the self I was then, and the connection I have since shared with my little girl within, some of which I have shared on this blog. I celebrate the warm intimacy we share in my heart. I also smile because I still have many of the same questions about life purpose. I wonder if I will ever know the answers! To be continued.